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Saddlers in control as they cruise past Luton; FOOTBALL Luton 0 Walsall 3.

Walsall rediscovered the winning habit when they cruised into the Southern Area quarter-finals of the Auto Windscreens Shield at Kenilworth Road last night.

After three League games without a victory, manager Ray Graydon was keen to make progress in this competition, and despite making four changes his team delivered the goods.

At times the Saddlers outclassed a struggling Luton side who include a number of reserves, and any hope the Hatters had disappeared when they missed a second-half penalty.

But Walsall were good value for the win, and they scored three classic goals while keeping a clean sheet for the second match in succession - goalkeeper James Walker's 14th of the season.

Walsall showed their intentions as early as the sixth minute when they stormed ahead with a sparkling goal.

Jason Brissett, recalled on the left wing because Paul Simpson, on loan from Wolves, did not want to be cup tied, stormed past Emmerson Boyce and hammered the ball across the face of goal where Andy Watson was on the spot to thump the ball right into the net.

At times Luton played some neat football and they might have scored in the tenth minute when, following a corner, Alan White drove over the bar. Then Ian Roper had to make two fine challenges to prevent first Michael McIndoe then Sean Evers breaking thro ugh.

The Saddlers began the second half just as they had the first, but this time scoring within two minutes, Andy Rammell chipping the ball over the defence for Darren Wrack to run and volley his eighth goal of the season.

Luton were awarded a penalty in the 57th minute when Adrian Viveash was ruled to have tripped Andrew Fotiadis, but Herve Bacque shot tamely from the spot and Walker saved.

Walsall took complete control after that, using all their subs, and hit the third goal with ten minutes left. A five-man move ending with Wrack pulling the ball back through Dean Keates who steadied himself before smashing a left-foot shot into the back of the net.

In stoppage time Walker maintained his excellent record in the Saddlers goal with a fine save from Tresor Kandol.

Scorers: Watson (6) 0-1; Wrack (47) 0-2; Keates (80) 0-3.

LUTON TOWN (4-3-3): Abbey; Boyce, Dyche, White, Fraser; McLaren (Scarlett, 73), Harrison, McIndoe; Evers, Fotiadis (Doherty, 59), Bacque (Kandol, 59).

WALSALL (4-4-3): Walker; Evans, Roper (Gadsby, 83), Viveash, Pointon; Wrack, Larusson (Thomas, 62), Keates, Brissett; Rammell (Platt, 73), Watson.

Referee: P Taylor (Waltham Cross).

Bookings: Luton - McIndoe (foul); Walsall - Viveash, Keates (fouls).

Attendance: 1,870.

Walsall man of the match: Neil Pointon.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 6, 1999
Words:431
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